Jennifer Daniels of USCCB talks about aid for Catholic schools in the recent stimulus package. Then, Justin Lombardo of the Archdiocese of Chicago discusses the documented success of Archdiocesan schools with in-person learning during the pandemic as outlined in a study published in an academic journal. Finally, Abe Scarr of Illinois PIRG discusses passage of the Predatory Loan Prevention Act during the recent lame-duck session.
Illinois lawmakers returned to Springfield for a lame-duck session driven by a Black Caucus agenda focusing on social and economic justice efforts intended to root out systemic racism following a summer of nationwide unrest after the unjust deaths of Black individuals at the hands of police. The specter of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s losing quest to win another term as speaker only added to the drama of the intense, five-and-a-half-day session, culminating in Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Westchester, winning the top House post as the first Black individual to assume the powerful role.
Illinois bishops today joined the U.S. bishops' statement on COVID-19 vaccines that have been in recent news. The guidance issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – "Moral Considerations Regarding the New COVID-19 Vaccines" – offers a detailed analysis of the origin of current vaccines and concludes that the Modern and Pfizer vaccines are morally acceptable. We urge all Catholics to read the document.
The Vatican today released a report on its investigation into the career of the former high-ranking and now-disgraced U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick. Published by the Vatican's Secretariat of State office, the report draws on documents from five Vatican departments, four U.S. dioceses, two U.S. seminaries and the Vatican's U.S. embassy. Investigators also interviewed more than 90 people.
The general election set for Nov. 3 offers voters the opportunity to make their voices heard about representation for federal, state and local elected offices. Illinois residents will also consider an amendment to the state Constitution that will change the income tax from a flat rate to a graduated rate. The bishops of Illinois offer voting guidance during presidential election years and have approved the following reflection points for Catholics to consider before casting their ballot.
Pope Francis today called for a renewed spirit of global community with the release of his new encyclical, 'Fratelli tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship." The eight-chapter encyclical examines contemporary social and economic problems against a backdrop of the current coronavirus pandemic, which "unexpectedly erupted" during its composition. Yet Pope Francis notes the global health crisis only underscores that “no one can face life in isolation” and that the time has truly come to “dream, then, as a single human family” in which we are “brothers and sisters all."